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Energies 2018, 11(3), 581; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11030581

Adaptable Energy Systems Integration by Modular, Standardized and Scalable System Architectures: Necessities and Prospects of Any Time Transition

1
Institute of Energy Systems, Energy Efficiency and Energy Economics (ie3), TU Dortmund, Emil-Figge-Str. 70, 44227 Dortmund, Germany
2
Chair of Sociology, Labour and Economics, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstr. 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 February 2018 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 2 March 2018 / Published: 7 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decentralised Energy Supply Systems)
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Abstract

Energy conversion and distribution of heat and electricity is characterized by long planning horizons, investment periods and depreciation times, and it is thus difficult to plan and tell the technology that optimally fits for decades. Uncertainties include future energy prices, applicable subsidies, regulation, and even the evolution of market designs. To achieve higher adaptability to arbitrary transition paths, a technical concept based on integrated energy systems is envisioned and described. The problem of intermediate steps of evolution is tackled by introducing a novel paradigm in urban infrastructure design. It builds on standardization, modularization and economies of scale for underlying conversion units. Building on conceptual arguments for such a platform, it is then argued how actors like (among others) municipalities and district heating system operators can use this as a practical starting point for a manageable and smooth transition towards more environmental friendly supply technologies, and to commit to their own pace of transition (bearable investment/risk). Merits are not only supported by technical arguments but also by strategical and societal prospects like technology neutrality and availability of real options. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy infrastructure design; system architecture; energy transition; district heating systems (DHS); energy hubs; distributed multigeneration (DMG); multi-energy systems (MES); urban energy systems (UES); community energy; societal prospects energy infrastructure design; system architecture; energy transition; district heating systems (DHS); energy hubs; distributed multigeneration (DMG); multi-energy systems (MES); urban energy systems (UES); community energy; societal prospects
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Hinker, J.; Wohlfahrt, T.; Drewing, E.; Contreras Paredes, S.F.; Mayorga González, D.; Myrzik, J.M.A. Adaptable Energy Systems Integration by Modular, Standardized and Scalable System Architectures: Necessities and Prospects of Any Time Transition. Energies 2018, 11, 581.

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